Monday, 8 February 2010

Christians in Politics Portal

The lecture 'Calvinism as an Indispensable and Renewing Force in Dutch Politics' published here earlier, was recently published on the newly launched 'Christians in Politics Portal'.

This new initiative with editors from all different continents hopes to bring together Christians in Politics from around the globe to offer insights into Christian politics that can be an inspiration to others.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

André Rouvoet adresses European Prayer Breakfast

André Rouvoet, Minister of Youth and Family and political leader of the Christian Union party of the Netherlands, addressed the European Prayer Breakfast in Brussels last Wednesday. The speech was very well received by the audience according to ECPM chairman Peeter Võsu and vice-chairman Kris Vleugels who attended the meeting on behalf of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

Read Rouvoet's speech on the ECPM website

From left to right: Miroslav Mikolasik MEP (Christian-Democratic Movement KDH of Slovakia), Christine Boutin (former minister of Housing and Cities and leader of the Christian-Democratic Party PCD of France), André Rouvoet, Kris Vleugels (Vice-President of the European Christian Political Movement ECPM) December 2 in Brussels.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Islam and Christian politics

André Rouvoet delivered this lecture on 'Islam and Christian Politics' in 2005 at the ECPM Congress 'Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Europe' in Leuven, Belgium.

Rouvoet's lecture is included in the booklet published after the Congress edited by Silviu Rogobete and Andrew Otchie, on pages 66-70. You can download the publication here.

Two themes are the focus of this article:
1. The current state of Islam in the Netherlands,
2. A Christian political view on Islam.

1. An important Islam-related issue is integration. Difficulties with integration in Dutch society incidentally lead to extremism. Consider for example the murder on Theo van Gogh. This murder caused much unrest in society and distrust and hostility towards Islamic fellow citizens.

2. For Christians it hurts to see that the number of mosques in the Netherlands is increasing, while the number of churches declines. We should look to our selves first though, before blaming someone else. The biggest problem today is not “islamisation” but secularisation. Church and state are principally distinct. The state should be concerned with public justice, the church with righteousness through faith. Church and state are two coordinate, distinct offices. They are in a coordinate relation to one another and receive their respective authorities directly from God. The church has a key role in society, because the Word of God is entrusted to her. This Word has relevance for all of society, including the sphere of the state. The Christian politician accepts God’s rule over all of life, including his political activities. A separation of faith and politics is therefore impossible. Theocratic views holding that faith can be forced and fought by the sword overestimate the calling of the state and deny the central position of Christian tolerance. The state can not discriminate among religions; they deserve equal treatment. A Christian state coincides per definition with religious freedom. The limits of religious freedom are reached when expressions religions go against the legal system or when the public order is disturbed.
So Christian politics principally tolerates the presence of Islam in the Netherlands. At the same time muslims are – like all Dutchmen – to act within the framework of the constitutional state. Extremist excesses have to be countered.